Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, the country’s own vaccine, has time and again been slandered by anti-Bharat media using half-truths and misinformation campaigns. Earlier, the media had used denial of emergency use approval by the US regulatory body FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as yet another excuse to undermine Covaxin.
The media as usual resorted to half-truths in order to mislead the public regarding Covaxin and also insinuate that the Bharatiya government had been hasty in approving the indigenous vaccine. In yet another hit job, the Economic Times article dated 24 June talks about how Covaxin is unlikely to get full approval until next year.
The article quoting a senior government official says:
Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of Covaxin, may have to wait till next year to get full approval from the Indian drug regulator for the indigenous vaccine, a senior government official told ET.
“The phase-3 trial has not ended yet,” said the official, adding that the company needs to carry out follow-up studies. “They have to establish data indicating how much protection the vaccine gives. The duration schedule is defined in their protocol. Till that is established, full licensure cannot be granted,” added the official.
The media conveniently ignores the fact that every vaccine in the world has been given only emergency use approval by domestic regulators owing to the pandemic situation. Furthermore, it is important to note that Phase-3 data is followed up by further studies.
Efficacy of the vaccine along with immunogenicity as well as possible adverse effects is looked into during this phase of the study. This is a lengthy process and may take up to several months to be completed. Subsequently, the regulator takes into account the entire data before giving full approval. This is a standard procedure but the media is merely interested in its propaganda.
All vaccines being used around the world have been given Emergency Use Listing by WHO. The WHO website says:
The Pfizer/BioNtech Comirnaty vaccine was listed for WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) on 31 December 2020. The SII/Covishield and AstraZeneca/AZD1222 vaccines (developed by AstraZeneca/Oxford and manufactured by the State Institute of India and SK Bio respectively) were given EUL on 16 February. The Janssen/Ad26.COV 2.S developed by Johnson & Johnson was listed for EUL on 12 March 2021. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA 1273) was listed for EUL on 30 April 2021 and the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine was listed for EUL on 7 May 2021. The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG). The Sinovac-CoronaVac was listed for EUL on 1 June 2021.
The attacks on the indigenous Covaxin are clearly a result of the personal bias against PM Modi. Earlier, the Bharatiya mainstream English-language media, however, went to town with the headlines ‘Covaxin denied approval in the US’ highlighting how it was a “setback” for Bharat Biotech. What the media has conveniently hidden is that the US doesn’t need emergency approvals for vaccines anymore because they’ve enough stocks of vaccines and have even been accused of hoarding the same.
In their blind hatred, the Bharatiya media has been disparaging Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin at every opportunity even if their slandering is devoid of facts.
(Featured Image Source: The Financial Express)
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